(originally posted on LiveJournal)

My friend Jamie introduced me to Infinite Joy, a revue of songs by William Finn (Falsettos, among others).

I’ve been in a showtunes mood the last few days.

I started today with The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Due to the vagaries of iTunes, it was followed by “Anytime”, from Infinite Joy (because it’s sung by Norm Lewis, and “N” comes after “M”).

Anytime you laugh
Anytime you cry
Anytime you hear a sound
When you’re on the grass
Lying on the ground
Anytime you wash your hands
I’ll be around

And I just started to think, and think about my mom, because isn’t a mom always there? Or always supposed to be there?

I’m out there on the baseball field
Though I’m well concealed
I’ll be out there cheering
I’m out there in the books you read
It is guaranteed I’m not disappearing fast
Anytime, no not anytime

And then I cried because she did disappear.

And I am there each morning
I am there each fall
I am present without warning
And I’m watching it all
Yes I’m watching it all

I really hope that she is. I hope she gets to see Jack at Disneyland for the first time. She loved Disney. Maybe because we did, or maybe we love it because she did. I don’t know. I just know that there are so many firsts, so many events, moments, she’s not going to get to be present for. I knew she wouldn’t make it to his high school graduation. But I wanted so much for her to be here to hold her granddaughter. I loved sharing Jack with her. She’s the only person who was excited by him all the time. Jack has a blog, but I haven’t updated it in months. I’m not even sure I should anymore, because I think she was really the only person who read it.

I am there in music
I am there in sky
I don’t know why this thing did happen
But this much is clear
Anytime or anywhere
I am there

Do you think that dead people, in an afterlife, regret being dead? I know I wish she had just quit smoking. Quit blaming her childhood for her problems, so she couldn’t get past them. I wish she would have just thought for a minute about how her being sick affected everyone else. My sister said at the service that my mom always put other people before herself. And that was mostly true. But when it came to her self-destructive tendencies, she never saw how they hurt us. Or maybe she did, and that was the only way she could get any power in the relationship, or so she thought. I could really see her punishing herself to punish us.

Anytime you pray
Anytime you fight
Anytime you gained a pound
Anytime it’s day
Anytime it’s night
Anytime the earth moves
I’ll be around

So cliche, but I wish I had told her some things. Like I didn’t blame her for being a not-so-good mom. I knew she tried her best. I told her that. We had a toast at our wedding, and I toasted mom for always loving me and trying her best. So I told about 100 people, if they remember. I bet she remembered. I really tried, ever since Jack was born, to be more cognizant of her feelings and to try and share with her.

I’m out there in the maple trees
In a summer breeze
On a perfect evening
I’m out there when you celebrate
When the world seems great
I’ll be waiting by your side
Anytime, yes anytime

I hope the world seems great again soon. We went to the County Fair on Saturday. The last two years, I’ve come home and posted on Jack’s blog. I couldn’t do that this year. The fair was so odd – us at the fair was so odd. Max did Our Town the year we got married. I wonder if this is how Emily felt when she was dead. That everything suddenly took on more meaning because we know it’s finite. It’s all well and good to say to live each day like it’s your last, but you can’t. I don’t want to spend my last day writing the glossary for HGTV Home & Landscape Platinum. I’m pretty sure my mom didn’t want to spend her last day fighting with my aunt and fighting to breathe. She died in her bathroom. Come to think of it, so did my grandmother – her bio mom. Grandma Missestoney died May 26, 1979. My mom died almost exactly 30 years later. 30 days minus 5. I wonder if they’re up there bickering. Or do all alcoholics go to hell? (My grandmother was an alcoholic. I always prayed for her to be in heaven. She’s buried at Queen of Heaven cemetery.)

And I am there each morning
I am there each fall
I am present without warning
And I’m watching it all
Yes I’m watching it all

I want her to be here. I want to hug her again. I want to be able to call her. At the very least, I want to have said a proper good bye. I didn’t even give her a card this Mother’s Day. I was using our (company’s) greeting card software, and it kept crashing. Her Christmas present is still sitting on my desk. At least she saw that. It’s a scrapbook. The company I bound it with did an awful job, and it took me forever to get around to printing and binding it myself. I thought, maybe I should give it to Jack’s birthmom. But I kind of don’t want to. I don’t know why. She called a couple of days before my mom died. I haven’t called her back. I can’t deal with her drama right now.
I am there in flowers
I am there in snow
I don’t know why this thing happened
But this much is clear
Anytime you cry
Anytime you sing
For anything

And I lose it again every time I hear those two lines: Anytime you sing / for anything. At least I did a good job on “The Way We Were”. People complimented me. It was very different than my grandfather’s funeral, where I sucked, and no one knew it was me singing. This time, I sang the entire song with my eyes closed. It’s a bad habit I got out of years ago, sometime in high school maybe. But I closed my eyes and kind of imagined being in the song, and I sung it. I miss singing. I’m glad I did a good job for mom. I hope Grandpa was listening too.

I am there each morning
I am there each fall
I don’t know why this thing happened
But this much is clear
Be aware
I am there

You know, I can imagine her being all Angels in the Outfield for Jack. Or for Cassie. I bet she’ll be a tomboy, because Jack wants to be a princess.

I just wish so much for another few minutes. Just some warning. A real warning, not this sense of dread I had for the last 4 years. It can’t have happened so fast. It can’t be over that fast. A person – my mother – was here on Wednesday, and she wasn’t on Thursday. She just stopped. Stopped being here.

I go to pick up her ashes tomorrow – or today – it’s past midnight.

I finished the cake Jack’s teacher made for me. And I’ve listened to this song eight times. I’m glad it made me cry, because I needed to cry, but felt so ridiculous doing so. But that’s another story…


( 1 comment )


Jun. 5th, 2009 12:01 pm (UTC)
*lots of hugs*

One thought on “Anytime

  1. Pingback: My Mother Is Still Dead | Holding to the Ground

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